“My food philosophy is to keep it simple. I love natural and pure ingredients that taste good. I want to find the best of what nature offers and showcase it in new ways.” Chef Alain Lemaire
Alain Lemaire, also known as Chef Lemaire, is an award-winning chef out of South Florida. He is the Co-Owner and Executive Chef of Sensory Delights Catering, a full-service boutique-style luxury company that caters to weddings and social and corporate events. A native of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Alain first discovered his interest in food while watching his mom and grandmother cooking.
As the years passed, Alain developed an increasing passion for food and food service. That passion has led him to attend the A.S. in Culinary and B.S. in Food Service Management programs at the acclaimed Johnson & Wales University, where he graduated Magma Cum Laude. Thanks to his heritage and having spent most of his culinary career in the South, Caribbean, Latin, and Southern Cuisines play a major role in his cooking style.
We had the pleasure of chatting with Chef Lemaire.
Tell us about yourself.
I am a native of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where I first discovered my interest in cooking. My name is Alain Lemaire, and I am an award-winning chef and the host chef of the “Luda Can’t Cook” series on Discovery+ with award-winning rapper, actor, and restaurateur Chris “Ludacris” Bridges.
I was a contestant in the Food Network’s hit series Cutthroat Kitchen and Chopped. I am also the Co-owner and Executive Chef of Sensory Delights, a full-service catering company based in South Florida.
Tell us about your interests, hobbies, and what you like to do for fun.
I am a big fan of sports, especially soccer, basketball, and football (all in that order). But my other hobbies and interests are visual art, going to the movies, traveling, especially overseas, dining out at local mom and pops but also experiencing fine dining from the guest perspective.
When making career decisions, what matters most to you?
A few things come to mind when making career decisions, like whether it makes sense, what my gut tells me, and whether it aligns with my values and beliefs.
What is “art” (related to cuisine) to you?
Art, to me, is an expression of oneself. We use art to express our deep thoughts, feelings, how we see those around us, what we use and consume, and the world.
What is one piece of advice your parents gave you that has stuck with you?
My parents have always instilled in me the following: to be honest, transparent, loyal, hard-working, and a man of integrity.
Favorite childhood game(s)?
My favorite childhood games had to be soccer, hide and seek, playing with kites, and bike riding.
Favorite Haitian snack(s)?
Favorite Haitian dish(es)?
Soup Joumou recipe by Chef Alain Lemaire
Recipe for Soup Joumou (Calabaza Squash Soup) Courtesy of Chef Alain Lemaire
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar, divided
. 1 pound beef shank, meat cut off bones into 1″ cubes
. 1 pound stew beef (preferably chuck) cut into 1″ cubes
. 1 cup Haitian epis
. 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from about 1 lime)
. 15 cups beef or vegetable broth, divided
. 1 pound beef bones
. 1 medium calabaza squash (about 2 pounds), peeled, cubed
. 3 large russet potatoes (about 2 pounds), finely chopped
. 3 carrots (about 1 pound), cut on the bias
. 1/2 small green cabbage (about 1 pound), very thinly sliced
. 1 medium onion, julienne
. 1 celery stalk, chopped
. 1 leek, white and pale-green parts only, finely chopped
. 2 small turnips, chopped
. 1 green Scotch bonnet or habanero pepper
. 1 1/2 cups rigatoni
. 6 whole cloves
. Kosher salt and black pepper
. 1 parsley sprig
. 1 thyme sprig
. 1 bunch cilantro
. 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- In a large bowl, toss beef shank and stew beef with one cup of vinegar. Transfer
beef to a colander and rinse with cold water.
- In a new bowl, mix epis, lime juice, salt, and beef, and let marinate for at least 30
minutes, preferably overnight.
- Heat 5 cups of broth in a very large stock pot over medium. Add marinated beef and
bones, cover, and simmer until the meat starts to soften, about 40 minutes.
- Add squash to pot on top of beef, cover, and return to a simmer. Cook until
squash is fork-tender, 20–25 minutes. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer
squash to a blender. Add 4 cups broth and purée until smooth. Return to pot and
bring to a simmer.
- Add potatoes, carrots, cabbage, onion, celery, leeks, turnips, hot pepper, cloves,
parsley, cilantro, thyme, and the remaining 6 cups of broth. Simmer, uncovered, until
vegetables are 80% done, 20 to 25 minutes. Add pasta and let cook another 10
minutes until the pasta is done.
- Add butter and remaining 1 Tbsp. Vinegar. Reduce heat to medium-low and
simmer until beef is very tender, 15–20 minutes more.
- Taste and adjust seasonings. Divide soup among bowls and serve with bread
A few highlights of Chef Alain Lemaire’s accomplishments:
Host chef on Discovery+ “Luda Can’t Cook” with Chris “Ludacris” Bridges 2022
* 2022 Food Entrepreneur of the Year
* 2022 Haitian Wedding Professional of the Year
* Competed on Food Network’s Chopped. Meat Fight: Goat 2021
* Chef Lemaire, along with seven other Haitian chefs in 2018 cooked the first ever all Haitian dinner at the James Beard Foundation House in New York
For more information, feel free to visit Chef Alain Lemaire at the following:
Website address: www.cheflemaire.com
Social Media handles Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.: @cheflemaire
Chef Lemaire is available for Speaking Engagements | Trade Shows | Food Festivals | TV Casting | Media Appearances | Restaurant/Caterer/Menu Consultation | Cooking Demo | Wine/Food Tasting | Public Engagement.